Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (239)

Patrick O'Donovan


239. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the parts of the primary and secondary level curriculums in which the protection of mental health is taught; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5286/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum is the context in which social and emotional learning is addressed in primary and post primary schools. A wide range of supports and programmes are available to support schools in the implementation of the SPHE curriculum.

My Department is strongly supportive of the promotion of positive mental health awareness in schools. This Department adopts a holistic and integrated approach to supporting schools in promoting positive mental health.

My Department published guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention in 2013 and my Department also provides other supports such as educational psychological services and guidance and counselling services, and an interface with other agencies.

My Department has published a Well-being Policy and Framework for Practice (2018-2023) for all schools which will inform how schools can promote student well-being.

The Well-being Policy also builds on the work already taking place in schools including the new Framework for Junior Cycle which places a clear emphasis on overall student health and well-being. This Framework is underpinned by eight principles, one of which is "Well-being" covering the development of key skills of “Managing Myself" and "Staying Well" which cover issues such as mental health and mental ill-health, dealing with tough times, loss and bereavement.